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Celebrate the impending release of A Dance with Dragons with some sweet art

"The North" by Kalie Ciesemier

Nerds worldwide are rejoicing today because after six years and countless delays and false starts, author George R.R. Martin has announced that A Dance with Dragons — the much-anticipated fifth book in his seven-volume epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, making the jump to TV on April 17 in the form of the HBO series adaptation Game of Thrones — is now officially and firmly slated for a Tuesday, July 12, 2011 release. I’ll be spending most of my day gibbering giddily, but if you manage to pull yourself together, do check out a trio of very cool A Song of Ice and Fire illustrations by artist Kali Ciesemier. That’s Jon Snow above; click the links to check out her takes on Sansa Stark and Brienne of Tarth. Winter may be almost over, but Winter Is Coming!


Bantam and Dynamite to adapt George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

Jon Snow sketch, by Tommy Patterson

Bantam Books has acquired the worldwide comic-book rights to George R.R. Martin’s bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire for a monthly series published by Dynamite Entertainment. Collected editions will follow under the Bantam imprint.

The comic, by writer Daniel Abraham (Fevre Dream, The Hard Call) and artist Tommy Patterson (Farscape, Tales from Wonderland), will debut in the late spring, around the time the television adaptation Game of Thrones premieres in April on HBO.

“With so much top rank talent to pick from, it was a tough choice,” Martin writes on his blog, “but Daniel and I and our editors at Bantam and Dynamite were all knocked out by the character sketches and sample pages that Tommy submitted.”

Debuting in 1996, Martin’s planned seven-book saga is set primarily on the mythical medieval continent of Westeros, whose seven kingdoms are torn between a dynastic civil war, a threat of invasion from the North and the impending return of the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

Read the official press release, and see another character sketch, after the break.

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Drawing a Game of Thrones

Jon Snow and Ghost by Gianluca Maconi

Jon Snow and Ghost by Gianluca Maconi

As reported in What Are You Reading?, I am a huge, huge, huge fan of writer George R.R. Martin’s bold, bloody, brilliant epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. And I pretty much can’t wait for HBO’s adaptation of the series, Game of Thrones, which stars Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Mark Addy, and Lena Headey and hits televisions on April 17. Finally, of course, I like comics and cartooning. So here’s a two-great-tastes-that-taste-great-together situation if ever there was one: deviantARTist Gianluca Maconi’s A Song of Ice and Fire gallery, featuring drawings of many of the major characters. That’s the black-clad bastard son Jon Snow and his direwolf Ghost above; click the link for Maconi’s vivaciously drawn takes on the rest of the Stark family, the Lannister siblings, King Robert Baratheon, Danaerys Targaryen and more. (And if you’re curious about the books but aren’t convinced they’re worth your while, allow me to make the case.) Winter can’t come soon enough.

(via Westeros)

What Are You Reading?

The Sixth Gun

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is Jim Zubkavich, writer of the Image Comics series Skullkickers and a project manager at UDON Entertainment.

To see what Jim and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click the link below.

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Off-topic: HBO greenlights Game of Thrones series

First production photo from HBO's "Game of Thrones"

First production photo from HBO's "Game of Thrones"

HBO has ordered the pilot plus nine episodes of Game of Thrones, the highly anticipated television series based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels.

Production begins in June in Belfast, with the series set to debut on the cable network in spring 2011.

From the moment the rights to the novels were sold to HBO in January 2007, many doubted whether a sprawling fantasy could ever make it to television. As recently as Monday, Martin himself expressed doubts as to whether the network would greenlight the show.

“From the start of this, I’ve told myself, ‘Don’t get too emotionally invested in this, or you will be devastated if it doesn’t go’,” Martin wrote on his blog. “Wise words, those. I’m a smart guy. But easier said than done. I’ve failed. I am totally emotionally invested, and if HBO does indeed decide to pass, for whatever reason, I will be gutted.”

Debuting in 1996, A Song of Ice and Fire is set in mythical, medieval Westeros, a continent torn between a dynastic civil war, a threat of invasion from the north and the impending return of the rightful heir to the throne. Four of the planned seven books have been released. The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword, two of three novellas set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, were adapted as comics by Dabel Brothers Productions.

The HBO series takes its name from the first novel, A Game of Thrones. The cast includes Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey.


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